Well, we’re getting one. The Adolescent Weight Control Registry is collecting data from people ages 14-20 who have lost weight and kept it off for at least 1 year.

The first person to be included is Meagan Blanchette. The 16 year old lost 60 pounds and kept it off for two years.

Which is fantastic for her – but why do we need a national registry?

“Parents constantly come up to me and say, ‘My teenager is overweight,’ and ask for my advice. It would be nice to have data with which to answer them,” says Rena Wing, one of the founders of the new registry and a professor of psychiatry at Brown University. “An important goal of this registry is to learn what role parents have played in helping these adolescents achieve their success.”

And it certainly sounds like parents play a very important role. Megan remarks that:

They buy and cook healthful foods, even if those foods are more expensive, and they drive her to dance classes and the gym, she says. “My mom drove me to all those Weight Watchers meetings at 8 a.m. on Saturdays.”

Now, not all parents have the ability to go out and buy healthful foods that are more expensive, or to make sure that someone goes to Weight Watchers meetings at 8 am on a Saturday morning. Still, I suppose it helps to have information on file. Do you think people you know will benefit from a National Teen Weight Loss Registry?